Wednesday, November 3, 2010
The Arabic Food Recipes kitchen (The Home of Delicious Arabic Food Recipes) invites you to visit the best restaurants in Cairo, Egypt.
Dining - Local Cuisine & Customs
Many traditional Egyptian recipes have travelled from the kitchens of North Africa to tantalise the taste buds of diners all over the world; hummus, tahini, tabouleh and shish kebab are featured in the restaurants of most cities. However, it is always worth sampling the authentic version of international dishes. In Cairo there is an abundance of traditional cuisine prepared with local ingredients. Most daily dishes are meat free and based instead on ful, a brown bean, cooked with garlic and lemon to make the thick, tasty stew mudammas.
Cairo has an enormous number of restaurants, catering to most needs. Cheap food can be found everywhere in street restaurants and snack stalls. The top notch restaurants are often, but not always, found in hotels and Nile boats. The borders between restaurants and cafes are not crystal-clear in the Egyptian capital. In many places it is perfectly acceptable to just have a drink or shisha. Medium and high-range outlets might have a minimum charge. Cheaper restaurants will normally not serve alcohol as well as some more expensive outlets. In general, downtown is good for budget eating, while for higher quality eating you should head to Zamalek, Mohandesin or any of the other more affluent parts of town.
For those with a greater interest in Cairo's culinary life, look for Cairo Dining, a magazine with a half-yearly update of 1000 Cairo restaurants (and places to go out) sorted by price, kind of food and area.
Otlob.com delivers food from a large number of Cairo restaurants, including fast-food places like McDonalds, as well as higher-end places. Otlob is also useful because it offers a list of restaurants by type of food, area, and even covers menus, conveniently all in English. Almost all but the highest quality Cairo restaurants offer delivery or takeout.
Global cuisine is always available in a large variety of city restaurants, but whether you choose local or international flavours it is wise to leave room for a sticky, sweet Egyptian dessert.
Restaurants by Cuisine
Naguib Mahfouz Café
Perfect lunchtime stop amidst the bustling Khan al Khalili shopping district. The local appetizers are well worth trying.
5 Sekket al-Badistan, Cairo
Tel: +20 2 590 3788
Something like a museum in itself, this colonial-feel eatery prepares simple dishes while the patrons discuss its past with the maître d’
17 Talaat Harb Street, Cairo
Tel: +20 2 392 9793
Probably the best place for local cuisine, set in an art deco apartment with marble tables and Warholesque art
157 26th of July Street, Zamalek, Cairo
Tel: +20 2 2735 9640
Citadel View Restaurant
Situated perfectly for panoramic views of the city’s main sights
Al-Azhar Park, Salah Salem Street, Cairo
+20 2 510 9150
Serenades from wandering minstrels and the sweet scent of fresh bread permeate the restaurants riverside terrace pavilion
Grand Hyatt Hotel, Corniche El Nil, Garden City, Roda Island, Cairo
Tel: +20 2 365 1234
Serving only koshari, the filling Egyptian fast food, this is a staple of any visit to Cairo
16 Shamplion Street, Cairo
Tel: +20 2 577 5935
Trendy tented spot on the Nile, serving excellent Egyptian and Lebanese meze
1-3 Abou Feda Street, Zamalek, Cairo
Tel: +20 2 735 0014
Creating classic French cuisine with local ingredients, this is truly the best of both worlds
4 Shara Hassan Sabri, Zamalek, Cairo
Tel: +20 2 341 2961
Using the best meat in town, Charwood’s prepares mouth-watering cuts
53 Gameat El Dowal El Arabia St, Cairo
Tel: +20 2 3749 0893
Seasonal food and continually changing specials mean you’re certain of fresh delights
151 Rd. 9, Cairo
Tel: +20 2 2358 0126
Tipping in Egypt is called baksheesh. In hotels and restaurants a gratuity of between 10% and 15% is the acceptable norm. However, baksheesh is expected for every service. Attendants at Cairo's historical buildings, footwear supervisors in mosques, taxi and camel drivers, baggage handlers and tour assistants will all ask for something extra from those who can afford it. Low wages necessitate this requirement and the working people of Egypt rely on the generosity of visitors. The equivalent of between USD 1.00 and USD 2.00 is an appropriate amount each time.
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